I decided to follow Talia’s advice and try to immerse myself in Emily’s– No, Emerald’s life.
The club she spent so much time at wasn’t bad. The DJ’s were skilled at keeping the music pumping and it was nice to get a chance to spend some time out on the dance floor.
I’ll admit it. I’m sort of a dance junkie. Ever since I walked in the club Mom had established in Willow Creek, I was hooked on the feeling of letting the beat of a good song flow through my body and moving to that immense energy.
I lose myself in that and don’t even notice what’s going on around me sometimes. I guess that’s what happened that night.
Emerald winced in embarrassment.
Emerald: “Oh my stars, please never do that again!”
Roland laughed his head off.
Jett: “I think I looked pretty good.”
Emerald: “No. Just no.”
Jett: “You’re just jelly that even with all that vampire mojo you can’t match my jam.”
Emerald: “I don’t even know what you’re saying.”
Roland: “Give him credit, Em’. He looked good out there.”
Emerald moved backwards to give Roland space to move in closer to me.
Emerald: “Fin. You two show us how it’s done.”
Roland: “Errr… I, uh, don’t really dance.”
Mostyn slid into place next to Emerald and swayed to the music.
Moss: “He is a liar. He dances splendidly. He was known for his waltz.”
Roland: “Really not the same thing, Cousin.”
Emerald leaned in close to Moss and whispered something in his ear. I couldn’t hear over the music, but they left me and Roland to our own devices. They were ditching us. Great.
Roland: “Do I still have to dance with you if our judge has left?”
Jett: “Your choice Man. I’m going to keep dancing, but if you want to chicken out…”
Roland: “Deciding to not embarrass myself by flailing my limbs isn’t chickening out.”
Jett: “You might as well flap those arms and do the chicken dance, cause all I’m hearing is bawk bawk.”
Meanwhile, not too far away…
Cristal: “Honey… I need to confirm something with you… was that my niece and nephew out on the dance floor with several vampires?”
Vincente: “Yes… Yes, it was. If you’ll excuse me, Darling. I’m going to go talk to one of the members of our son’s coterie.”
Cristal: “You think they are all members of Remington’s group of friends?”
Vincente: “Of course they are. I’m well aware of every member of his pack.”
Cristal: “Then they should be fine with them, right?”
Vincente: “You don’t actually believe that do you?”
Cristal: “No, not at all.”
Back on the dance floor…
Roland wasn’t bad at dancing once he warmed up. We laughed and chatted as we swayed with the music.
Jett: “You’re a pretty good dancer.”
Roland: “Was that a compliment?”
I laughed and looked over at his playful smile. It was surprising to see a guy like him lower his guard even a little. It was refreshing.
Several minutes later, elsewhere in the club…
Keoni gulped and looked at the green vampire in front of him. What could Vicente de la Cruz want to do with him? In the scheme of things, Keoni was an infant when it came to the vampire life. His parents were both human and his nocturnal condition was a complete mystery. He had no idea how he had been changed or who had caused the change in him, but he was a vampire nonetheless.
This put Keoni in an awful sort of situation. Vampire society was a latticework of intricately weaved hierarchy. Being a vampire that had no idea how he had become a vampire and had no sire to protect him put him at the bottom of the vampire hierarchy. He was a caitiff, a clanless vampire. He was lucky that he had been accepted into a coterie at all, but what was most surprising was that his group was made up of vampires of such prominent linages.
Vincente: “I suppose you know why I’m here.”
Keoni: “No Sir.”
Vincente: “You have two humans in your party. Who brought them?”
Keoni: “You mean Jett and Emerald?”
Vincente’s eyebrow raised in curiosity.
Vincente: “Emerald? Is that what she’s calling herself?”
Keoni: “I suppose so. That’s what she introduced herself as.”
Vincente: “You haven’t answered the question, Caitiff. How did they learn of this place?”
Keoni didn’t want to sell Remington out, but how could he engineer a way to tell a master vampire to fuck off?
Vincente: “I take your silence as you’re protecting my son. If you’ll excuse me, I have some family matters to attend to.”
Keoni forced the corners of his mouth into a smile.
Keoni: “It was a pleasure speaking to you, Sir.”
Vincente smiled. A shiver threatened to crawl down Keoni’s spine.
Vincente: “Of course.”
The elder vampire lifted his nose and sniffed the air.
Vincente: “You smell of the sea. Were your people mer folk before your change?”
Keoni blinked. Mer folk? Keoni doubted anyone in his family had been a mermaid.
Vincente took that as a no and rose from his chair. He left in a manner that would have been well suited to a man wearing a velvet cape. A swift flurry of motion and grace.
Queen Vickie’s, upstairs…
Moss: “I’m surprised you wanted to spend time with me.”
Emerald: “Why wouldn’t I? You’re a very charming conversationalist.”
Moss: “If you say so.”
Emerald: “I do! I love that joke you told me yesterday. How did it go?”
Moss: “The one about the rabbit?”
Emerald: “Yes! That one.”
Moss: “I have no idea. I can’t remember.”
Emerald laughed and set her face into a pout.
Emerald: “You can never remember anything, can you?”
Moss’s expression became sullen.
Moss: “Unfortunately. I feel my grip on things slip a little further every passing year. I can’t even remember if this was what I was like when I was alive.”
Emerald gasped and tilted her head at Mostyn.
Emerald: “Oh Moss… I’m sorry. I didn’t–“
Moss: “No. You don’t have to apologize! I shouldn’t have unloaded my problems on you.”
Emerald: “No, that’s not true. I brought you up here to flirt with you and instead I remind you of something that painful.”
Moss: “Painful… Yes it’s rather– You did what?”
Emerald: “Oh never mind!”
Moss: “Maybe we should retire for the evening.”
Emerald: “That’s probably for the best.”
Moss: “I’ll be seeing you, Miss Emerald.
Emerald: “Bye Mostyn.”
Moss: “You can call me Moss, you know.”
Emerald: “Well, you can call me Em’.”
Moss: “Perhaps… After all, “M” is my favorite letter of the alphabet.”
*When saying Em’… the “E” is silent. So it just sounds like the letter “M”.
Pretty much at the same time, downstairs…
Jett was having a drink with Keoni. Okay… Maybe a few drinks. The refreshments at Queen Vickie’s were fresh, tasty, and shockingly free. I guess who charged for drinks at an exclusive club for the supernatural community?
Keoni had seemed tense, but the longer the two laughed and talked, the more he loosened up.
Out of all the vampires that Jett hung around with, Keoni was still the most human. It made him easy to talk to and relatable.
Jett: “And in the middle of the debate, the captain of the other team just started vomitting. It was the nastiest thing ever!”
Keoni: “Are you serious?”
Jett: “Yes! So I raised my finger to the judge and said: Does fear vomiting count as an automatic disqualification? It turns out that yes… yes it does, but only cause they had to take the guy to the ER right after.”
Keoni: “What was wrong with him?”
Jett: “Alcohol poisoning. He had downed a whole–“
Vicente raised an eyebrow as he approached the table.
Vicente: “Hello, my nephew. Fascinating story.”
Keoni: “Oh shit.”
Jett: “Uh… Uncle Vicente. Hi… What are you doing here?”
Vicente: “It’s interesting that you’d ask me that question. When really… shouldn’t I be asking you that question?”
Jett: “I’m just having a drink and–“
Vicente: “In a vampire club. Alone?”
Vincente: “My idiotic offspring may have introduced you and your sister to this establishment, but I’m shocked that you could lack so much awareness that you’d come back here without him and you brought your sister too!”
Vincente: “You’re supposed to be the responsible one! How dare you put both your lives at risk! What’s further, is you put the de la Cruz name in jeopardy by inviting death to your doorstep!”
Jett raised his hands. His defense was on his lips, but his uncle just kept ranting.
Vincente: “What happens when some clanless bastard gets hungry and drains your sister dead? Does your idiocy wipe the blood off Remington’s hands since he should have been protecting you? No!”
Keoni thought to himself, “Thanks… Jerk.”
Jett: “Uncle Vicente! That’s enough! I’m not going to sit here and get lectured!”
Vicente raised his eyebrow and paused. The little puppy wanted to growl back? Interesting.
Jett: “I didn’t want to come here! Not at first, but Emerald– I mean, Emily did! She’s enjoying herself and we’re under the protection of Remington’s friends. We’re not here to cause trouble and–“
Vicente: “You- Sulani Caitiff, would you put your life at risk for a human you barely know?”
Keoni: “… Yes. I would. Jett and his sister have become good friends and none of us would let anything happen to them.”
Vicente: “And when the Prince comes and demands to know why humans are prancing around like cattle out of the pen?”
Keoni: “I would tell them–“
Jett: “Stop talking like I’m not here. I’ll tell the Prince himself to shove it, Uncle Vince.”
Vicente looked surprised and laughed.
Vicente: “I’d like to see that happen, nephew. But let us hope it won’t. We should return home. I think your family should know about your nocturnal activities. Fetch your sister.”
Emerald was at the end of her day. She yawned and curled up on the chaise. It was always this way… the last threads of her energy drifted into obscurity and she fell into the abyss once more. She didn’t know what happened after, only that she would wake up the next day and start all over.
Emily woke up and blinked. Oh god. Where was she? The music thumped against her eardrums and made her heart skip a beat. Emerald was really very good at leaving her at inconvenient times. Emily sighed and stood up. She’d better find her brother quick.